Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the semiconductor industry are increasingly asked to comply with SEMI safety guidelines. What is SEMI? Which of its guidelines are most often referenced? How does an OEM comply?
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries, including:
- Photovoltaics (PV)
- High-brightness LED
- Flat panel display (FPD)
- Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
- Printed and flexible electronics
- Related micro- and nano-electronics One important aspect of the SEMI organization is an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) group that is dedicated to promoting environmentally sound policies as well as the health and safety of employees who work in the microelectronics supply chain. The group focuses on global EHS topics, compliance and regulatory issues, and advancement of EHS within the industry. The EHS group maintains awareness of changing regulatory requirements in all geographies. Where possible, the group will mount efforts to affect standards and regulatory changes to maintain a balance between sound EHS practices and minimize the financial impact on the industry. According to technical services provider TÜV Rheinland, the most frequently assessed guidelines include:
- Conformance to the standards is voluntary, but most major semiconductor device manufacturers require conformance for equipment that they purchase.
- The SEMI International Standards Program brings together industry experts to exchange ideas and work towards developing globally accepted technical standards. SEMI provides a forum for the essential collaborations that must be achieved to move new and existing markets forward efficiently and profitably.
- SEMI-S1 Equipment safety labels
- SEMI-S2 Environmental health and safety guideline
- SEMI-S8 Ergonomics
- SEMI-S10 Risk assessment and risk evaluation
- SEMI-S14 Fire risk assessment and litigation
So how does an OEM comply with SEMI guidelines? The SEMI Safety Guidelines incorporate regulatory requirements from various sources around the world as part of the effort to define best practices in EHS. Task forces conduct periodic reviews of the guidelines to ensure they reflect the current best practices for the areas covered by the guidelines, including electrical safety, mechanical safety, ergonomics, chemical handling, and others. SEMI develops and sells the standards, which are available to all equipment manufacturers, end users, and third-party certifying organizations. Many end user companies insist on an independent, third-party evaluation that culminates with the issuance of an extensive report indicating the degree of conformance to the applicable SEMI Safety Guidelines.
For more information on SEMI and the SEMI standards, you can go here.